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We worked Across The Flat this morning

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."

Jane Howard.

Ttmab and Roof Garden working Across The Flat

It’s a bright, sunny, warm morning with the blossom out in full and the leaves starting to really come out on all the trees. It sounds as if it is going to stay like this for a few days and get even warmer tomorrow, which will do everything, and everybody, the power of good. We have a new recruit in today, but are minus two that are injured, so we are still down a bit. However, we have had a good morning so far. I worked a couple Across The Flat for the first time this season and although it looked ok, it was quite soft. We still need a few more days of drying weather to get some bounce back in the ground.

Warming up before cantering

Rum Ration leading two-year-olds Pageant Master and Quanah

The BHA has done it once again. They announced there was going to be an additional jump meeting at Ayr while the flat course was out of action, but they scheduled it for during the six day break at the end of the jump season. It took the champion jockey, Richard Johnson, five seconds to complain and the BHA’s response was that they had forgotten. The main aim of the BHA to me, and to almost everybody in the profession, is that they want wall to wall horse racing and if it were up to them, they would race from 10 o’clock in the morning, right through until midnight. There is no rhyme or reason or any thought about the staff. Both codes need a good break and when I say break I mean a month, so as soon as Sandown is over this weekend there is a month off for horses, jockeys and staff just to recover. There also wants to be one at some stage at the end of the turf flat season in November, but don’t hold your breath as I don’t think it will ever happen. How the jump jockeys manage to get six days is a miracle and no wonder they want to get themselves banned as it at least gives them some time off from hurtling around the roads for very little return.

The tree full of blossom

Windsor Racecourse canteen came in for plenty of flack yesterday for trying to overcharge for a bottle of water and a chocolate bar. It has been one of my bugbears for years that stable staff do not get free food, or drink, when racing. All the jockeys, trainers, owners, officials, stall handlers get fed and watered, all for free, but the staff are the only ones who get hit. It is a complete mess and something that the Stable Lads Association should be on to. It is imperative that the lads are looked after well and that the food and drink is good, wholesome, fresh and free. Also every canteen should have a TV to show racing at least at the track it is at, there are several that do not have a TV that shows any racing. You just couldn’t make it up. All you need is common sense which is sadly lacking nowadays.